The Cincinnati Bengals signed punter Drue Chrisman to their practice squad on Monday, a week after he was released by the Steelers.
The Steelers signed Chrisman to their practice squad on Dec. 8, as the team added backups at all three specialist positions with an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. With their viral numbers back in check, the Steelers released Chrisman on Dec. 12.
Chrisman is a 6-foot-3, 223-pound rookie out of Ohio State. He originally signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent. He was cut at the end of training camp and has spent two stints on the Cincinnati practice squad, most recently being released on Oct. 12.
The Steelers have not gotten much production out of their punting unit this season, with rookie Pressley Harvin III averaging 43.3 yards per kick gross. The team’s 38.1 net is the second-worst figure in the NFL.
Head coach Mike Tomlin singled out the punting unit as a problem after Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans.
“They won the battle of field position in the first half, primarily because of the ineffectiveness of our punt team,” Tomlin said.
Harvin has also been dealing with some personal issues, with his father recently receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness. The Steelers arranged for Harvin’s father to be at the game Sunday, with the punter acknowledging that it may be his last.
“We found out this week that his time left on Earth is limited,” Harvin wrote on Instagram. “With short notice, we were able to get him to a game one last time. Continue to pray for my dad as well as my family as we navigate through hard times and continue to try to get my father in better health.”
It’s unclear if Harvin will need to spend any time away from the team at this juncture.